BJJ Grrl

"Be gentle, kind and beautiful, yet firm and strong, both mentally and physically." ~Sensei Keiko Fukuda

Getting nervous…

on February 24, 2009

I’ve been watching too many female white belt BJJ matches, and I’m getting nervous. Can I really hang with other girls? We’ll find out this weekend… Eep.


  • shrimp, i.e., don’t be flat
  • get on top

Oh, turns out our warmup last night wasn’t for the new guys (who didn’t come back) — it was for those of us going to the tournament. Tim finally said so tonight as he put us through another mini-Saturday.

Lots of bear crawls. What’s with the love for bear crawls? Ugh. Down-the-mat drills, then circling up. Then a drill with a partner: stand facing your partner, shoot under his legs, then turn and jump over his back, repeat. Tried to get a shorter guy, but no one else had quite comprehended what we were doing, and I got a guy slightly too tall. I kept telling him to get lower, and he wouldn’t, so I’d almost land on his head going over. Eventually he got lower.

Then two rounds of rolling. Buddy #2. Trying to break grips and guard, and also a fair bit under side control. Same on TKD Mike next.

Drilling was something Tim called a Suicide Choke. (Eep.) Worked with Clifton. We just went nice and slow, one choke apiece and then resting. It’s very fast and tight, even when you’re working slowly and carefully.

Rolling again. Justin for two rounds back-to-back. Tim told him to go with me a second time. First round wasn’t so brilliant on my part. Squashed a lot and couldn’t seem to move out of anything. He was giving me just enough space to move, but I couldn’t seem to hit it. Second round, I decided to get on top. Didn’t matter if I got anything, just get on top. And shrimping suddenly started working, too. Tried transitioning between pendulum sweep and scissor sweep, but got confused on which I was doing and botched it, so Justin pointed out what I needed. Got one pendulum sweep (so effortless when you do it right) and one scissor sweep variation, where you kick the knee straight instead of sweeping through it. He let me work the armbar from mount once and reversed me the second time.

Last round with Big Jon. (Choices were him, side-control staller, and brand-new guy [but wearing an ATT patch, so he probably isn’t new to jiu-jitsu]. Jon’s twice my size and a good wrestler, but I trust him far more, and Tim even pointed us to each other when both of the other guys moved toward me.) Hard to do anything on him. Getting to the top wasn’t even an option. He got an armbar and a kimura (got me all twisted up in a pretzel and was sitting on me), but mostly I think I was turning away from and blocking most things.

Then those of us going to the tournament — and anyone who wanted a little more conditioning, though only one took Tim up on that offer — went back on the wall for more conditioning. Shooting; shoot and sprawl; squat jumps; 20 knees-to-chest jumps, bear crawl down, 20 jumps, bear crawl back, 20 jumps, repeat. Then pushups with bringing your knees in for what felt like forever to finish us off.

Nogi tomorrow night, and MMA Thursday will be nogi instead, too, though very light for those of us competing. Then we go up Friday, and the tournament’s Saturday. And then I come back and start a new job!


4 responses to “Getting nervous…

  1. Georgette says:

    Best of luck for your tournament! I am sure you’ll do amazingly well. Just make sure your mind is in the right space. For me, at my first tournament, I think I was so worried about being hurt (it was coed) or hurting someone else that I took it a little easy. The second tournament (with a real womens division) I went in thinking “I’m going to break your f-ing jaw if that’s what it takes to get the choke.” I don’t know if that’s the mindset YOU need to have! But whatever you need to do, do it for real and with serious intention. Whatever you like to get or go for, do it 110% and don’t ever give up and I know you will crush your competition. Can’t wait to see the video!!!!!


  2. leslie says:

    Thanks again, Georgette, for telling me what I needed to hear. (The guys said roughly the same thing last night, but they haven’t competed with girls. =P)

    I think part of it, too, is that I’m not feeling as if I’m getting the right kind of practice this week — I’m still stuck under the guys most of the time and can’t remember any submissions. I don’t want to blank on those when I get to the tournament! But I’m going to start listing out what I know, to remind me, which should help.

    • YES! That’s exactly what I was going to say…. this morning before a training partner arrived I just sat down and did a “25 subs” drill in my head. I only got to 12 or 13 subs from guard when they arrived, but it’s a useful exercise. If you haven’t, check out the flowcharts on too, they’re a very interesting graphical representation of the if..then decision trees for different positions.

      When I went to my first tournament, my friend Ulises said “don’t let them impose their game, you impose YOUR game on THEM.” I laughed my butt off because I was thinking, I wouldn’t know a game if it bit me. He saw my amusement and said ok, pick your favorite sub. (again, lol, my favorite is whatever I can think of that I can try for. And don’t even start me on chaining attacks or baiting!) So he said just pick one, and whenever you can’t think of what to do next, GO for THAT ONE. If you’re not in position to go for it, GET in position then go again.

      I picked a guillotine. Ended up winning my only win by one-armed guillotine from mount. Craziness. It was good to have a minimal game plan. 🙂

      You’ll kick butt.

  3. leslie says:

    Thanks again. That’s exactly what the guys were saying last night, too, even about picking a sub and working to it, if I don’t know what else to do. And they said they’ve seen me tear up guys in class (I have? When was this?!), so they said I’d be fine against a girl.

    So apparently I really need to start listening to and repeating what all of you are saying about me, because it’s good stuff!

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